Connecticut’s lieutenant governor and attorney general were among those who celebrated J.Réne Coffee Roasters in West Hartford Thursday as a successful Hispanic-owned business.
By Ted Glanzer
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Attorney General William Tong got a taste, literally, of how the coffee is made at J.Rene Coffee Roasters on Park Road in West Hartford on Thursday.
Bysiewicz and Tong were joined by state Sen. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford; West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor; and Town Councilor Ben Wenograd at the coffee shop to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. J.Réne Coffee Roasters is owned by Jose Rene Martinez, who is also an assistant attorney general.
Martinez walked Bysiewicz and Tong through the shop, showing the officials the shop’s equipment as well as inviting the two to participate in a coffee cupping – where they sampled the tastes and aromas of three different coffees from Sumatra, Panama, and Colombia.
Tong and Bysiewicz lauded the coffee – and Martinez.
“We’re taking a break to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate Hispanic-owned and run businesses,” Tong said. “We just had our first cupping.”
“The coffee is delicious,” Bysiewicz added.
Cantor, Wenograd, and Slap said they frequent the establishment and have at many meetings at the shop.
“This is essentially my second office,” Slap said. “I absolutely love it.”
J.Réne now has two locations. The original coffee shop and roaster visited Thursday is at 320 Park Road, and a second location recently opened in spaces shared by CookShop Plus at 58 LaSalle Road.
“West Hartford has been great,” Martinez said, crediting state officials for their work.
“We’re super-blessed to do this, especially during this time. … This is not possible without the support of everyone. … It is very important to keep our small businesses rising and successful. It’s not easy work they do. No one is every completely happy, there’s too many things to factor in. But we do appreciate what you do.”
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